Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, 1st April 2009:
Is royal prerogative of Yang di Pertuan Agong disregarded when swearing-in for Najib as new Prime Minister is scheduled at Istana Negara on Friday when royal consent for Abdullah’s resignation has not been given?
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz has confirmed that Cabinet Ministers, Mentris Besar and Chief Ministers have received invitations to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Datuk Seri Najib Razak as the country’s new Prime Minister at Istana Negara on Friday.
This raises the question whether the royal prerogative of the Yang di Pertuan Agong to appoint the next Prime Minister has been overlooked or disregarded when the King is presented with the fait accompli of the swearing-in ceremony for Najib as the new Prime Minister at Istana Negara on Friday when the royal consent for Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s resignation has not been given.
In his winding-up speech at the Umno General Assembly on Saturday, Abdullah announced that he will meet the Yang di Pertuan Agong tomorrow (Thursday), saying:
“God willing, the proper handover ceremony will be arranged once Tuanku has consented to my desire to resign.”
What happens if the Yang di Pertuan Agong does not consent to Abdullah’s desire to resign or needs time to discharge his royal prerogative?
In the circumstances, isn’t it presumptuous as well as contempt for the royal prerogative of the Yang di Pertuan Agong to appoint the Prime Minister as provided by the Constitution to proceed with the swearing-in ceremony for Najib to become the new Prime Minister when the Yang di Pertuan Agong has not met Abdullah and given his consent for Abdullah’s resignation?
Explanations from both Abdullah and Najib on these extraordinary developments are fully warranted.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor